Sunday, 25 April 2021
Saint Mark the Evangelist - Greater Litanies
The feast of St. Mark the Evangelist is a Double of the Second Class and the liturgical colour of the feast is red. Today is also the celebration of the Greater Litanies: the Litanies more ancient than those sung on the Rogation days and the ones, traditionally, sung with greater solemnity. St. Mark was particularly close to St. Peter. He is one of the Four Evangelists and is traditionally represented by a lion (as can be seen in the icon above) as it is one of the four beasts in the Prophecy of Ezechiel. St. Mark preached in Egypt and was martyred at Alexandria. The third Sunday after Pascha is commemorated in the Office and at Mass. It is also Sunday within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph but the rubrics do not admit of the commemoration of a common Octave on a Double of the Second Class although a privileged votive Mass of the feast may be celebrated as noted below.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Sancti tui etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Tristes erant Apostoli. The chapter was Stabunt justi. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringa and of the Sunday. Hymns of Iambic metre have the Paschaltide Doxology and tone. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the preces were omitted.
At Mattins the invitatory, the hymn is again Tristes erant Apostoli, and the antiphon on the psalms of each nocturn are from the Common of Apostles. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of the Prophet Ezechiel, Et factum est trigesimo anno etc., from the Common of Evangelists in Paschaltide. The responsories are also from this Common. In the second nocturn lessons four and five are from St. Jerome on ecclesiastic writers, the sixth lesson is from St. Gregory's writing on Ezechiel. In the third nocturn the homily is from the Common of Evangelists along with its responsories. The ninth lesson is of the Sunday. The Te Deum is sung.
At Lauds the antiphons Sancti tui etc., from the Common of Apostles, are sung, doubled, with the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Paschale mundo gaudium. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.
At the Hours the hymns have the Paschaltide Doxology. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) and the lectio brevis is Scimus quoniam etc.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the third collect is of the Greater Litanies. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Apostles and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.
In Cathedral and Collegiate Churches two High Masses are sung. The first, after Terce, is of St. Mark, with commemoration and last Gospel of the Sunday, but without any commemoration of the Greater Litanies. After None the Paschal Candle is extinguished and the antependia changed to violet. The celebrant, vested in violet cope, assisted by deacon and subdeacon in violet dalmatic and tunicle reverence the altar then kneel and pray for a short while. They rise and the cantors begin the antiphon Exsurge Domine. The choir continue....adjuva nos, et libera nos, propter nomen tuam. Ps. Deus auribus nostris audivimus patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis. Gloria Patri etc, Sicut erat etc and then Exsurge Domine is repeated. All all kneel (except the crucifer and acolytes who go and stand at the entrance of the choir) and the cantors then begin the Litany of the Saints. This is sung in the full form, and not the shorter form used on Holy Saturday. Each invocation is doubled, i.e. the cantors sing e.g. Pater de caelis, Deus, miserere nobis and this is repeated in its entirety by everyone else. When Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis has been repeated all rise and the Procession commences.
The Procession goes outside of the Church and may visit other Churches on its route. In this case the celebrant is offered lustral water at the entrance to the church and processes to the High Altar. After a moment for silent prayer the choir signs the antiphon of the patron of the church, its versicle and response (with Alleluia added as it is Paschaltide) and the celebrant sings the collect of the Patron. The Litany is then resumed and the Procession continues. If the Procession has a long route the Litany, from Sancta Maria etc may be repeated or the Seven Penitential Psalms sung to the tonus in directum. When the Procession enters the church where Mass will be celebrated, lustral water is received on entering and the Procession goes to the sanctuary. All kneel as the Litany ends. The celebrant intones Pater noster etc and then the cantors sing psalm 69. After the versicles that follow the celebrant stands to sing the ten collects. He then kneels again as Exaudiat nos etc is sung. The ministers then rise and the celebrant changes from a cope to chasuble and all put on their maniples. The Mass Exaudivit is then sung without any commemoration of St. Mark. The chants are those used for ferial Masses. The Gloria is not sung, there are the additional prayers of the season with the second collect Concede nos and the third collect Ecclesiae or Deus omnium. There is no Creed - even on a Sunday. The preface of Paschaltide is sung to the ferial tone, the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino.
Where the Procession takes place and there is only one Mass then that Mass is of the Greater Litanies (except in churches whose titular is St. Mark, or a Double of the First Class is to be celebrated) with a commemoration of St. Mark and of the Sunday.
As before the reform of 1911-13 the third Sunday after Pascha was the feast of the Solemnity (olim Patronage) of St. Joseph today all Masses except the Conventual Mass may be of the feast. The Mass Adjutor is sung in white vestments with Gloria, the second collect is of St. Mark, the third collect is of the Sunday, the fourth collect is of the Greater Litanies. The Creed is sung, the preface is of St. Joseph and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.
In the afternoon second Vespers of the feast of St. Mark are sung. The antiphons Sancti tui etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn is Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following Office of SS Cletus and Marcellinus and of the Sunday.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Mark's feast is superceded by the Sunday. At Vespers, of the Sunday, there are no commemorations. At Compline the ferial psalms are sung. At the Hours the hymns do not have the Paschaltide Doxology. At Lauds, only, a commemoration of St. Mark is made. At Prime the lectio brevis is of the season. At Masses other than those following the Procession a commemoration of the Greater Litanies is made. The Rogation Procession may be replaced by another suitable service at the discretion of the Ordinary. When the Procession takes place the petitions of the Litany are not doubled and the collects at the end of the Litany have the short conclusion. Where the Litany or another service takes place in the vernacular those with an obigation to the Office are not bound to say the Litany in Latin. At the II class votive Mass following the Procession the preparatory prayers, Judica me Deus etc, are omitted. The second collect is of the Sunday, the Creed is sung - being a Sunday (R.G. 343(a) - and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.
Icon: St. Mark from Emmanuel Tzanes
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
The Solemnity of St. Joseph
The feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph Spouse of the Blessed Virgin and Patron of the Universal Church is a Double of the First class with an Octave. It is the primary feast of St. Joseph (c.f. 19th March) although is now a feast that is largely forgotten or even sadly unknown after the liturgical changes of the last century. The feast was introduced into the Universal Kalendar by Pius IX in 1847 originally as the 'Patronage of St. Joseph' as a Double of the Second Class to be celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. In 1870 the feast had 'Patron of the Church' added to its title. In 1911 the feast was renamed the Solemnity of St. Joseph and became a primary Double of the First Class. In 1913 the celebration was moved to the Wednesday after the second Sunday after Easter with an Octave. Although relatively modern the feast is a fine example of typology with the Patriarch Joseph being used as a 'type' of the foster-father of the LORD.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Jacob autem etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter was proper and the Office hymn was Te Joseph celebrent agmina Caelitum. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and Te lucis was sung with the Paschal Doxology.
The Office is proper. At Mattins the invitatory is Laudemus Deum nostrum In veneratione beati Joseph, protectoris nostri, alleluia and the Office hymn is, again, Te Joseph. The antiphons of the nocturns are proper and, as at Vespers, rather beautiful:
Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem ejus, et fuge in Ægyptum; et esto ibi, usque dum dicam tibi, alleluia.
Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem ejus, et vade in terram Israel; defunct sunt enim qui quaerebant animam Pueri, alleluia.
Consurgens Joseph, accepit Puerum et Matrem ejus, et venit in terram Israel; et habitavit in civitate, quae vocatur Nazareth, alleluia.
In the first nocturn the lessons are from the book of Genesis and are extended in comparison to those for St. Joseph's 19th March feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon on St. Joseph by St. Bernardine of Siena and in the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine on the Gospel fragment from St. Luke. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons from Vespers are sung with the Sunday psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Caelitum Joseph decus. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of St. Anselm.
At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii) are sung under the first antiphon of Lauds. At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschaltide Doxology.
Mass is sung after Terce and is proper, with the introit Adjutor. The Gloria is sung. (In private Masses the second collect is of St. Anselm). The Creed is sung and the preface is that of St. Joseph.
At second Vespers the antiphons, psalms and hymn are those that were sung yesterday at first Vespers. The Office hymn is Te Joseph. The versicle and its respond along with the antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to second Vespers. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following Office of SS Soter & Caius. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Solemnity of St. Joseph simply does not exist as this beautiful feast was suppressed in 1956 to be replaced by the appalling 'San Giuseppe Comunista'. The 19th March returned to being the primary feast of St. Joseph. The vast majority of 'traditionalists', who vociferously support the 'liturgical books of 1962', are completely and blissfully ignorant of the existence of the Solemnity of St. Joseph yet alone its abolition. A few who are aware of it substitute the Office of the feast for the execrable Joe the Worker travesty of May 1st.
Sunday, 18 April 2021
Second Sunday after Pascha
The second Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. It is sometimes referred to as 'Good Shepherd Sunday' from the words of the Epistle from I Peter "For you were as sheep gone astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls" and from the Gospel where the LORD proclaims "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep." The Sunday is also referred to as Misericordia after the opening words of the introit.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Vespers for Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. The chapter, Carissimi: Christus passus est pro nobis etc, was proper to the Sunday, the Office hymn was Ad regias Agni dapes. The antiphon on the Magnificat reinforced the theme of the Sunday, Ego sum pastor ovium. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was sung. At Compline Te lucis was sung to the Paschal tone with the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria etc and the Dominical preces were sung.
At Mattins the invitatory, Surrexit Dominus, and Office hymn, Rex sempiterne, are sung as last Sunday. Again, at the nocturns the psalms are sung under one antiphon. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Acts of the Apostles. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the first sermon on the Ascension of the Lord by St. Leo. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Gregory. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is sung.
At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschal Doxology and the psalms are sung under a single antiphon consisting of a triple Alleluia. At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung (Pss. 117, 118(i) & 118(ii). The Dominical preces are sung.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is Concede nos, the third collect Ecclesiae or Deus omnium. The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschaltide.
At Vespers the Dominical psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday Paschal Commemoration of the Cross in sung. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces are sung.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross has been abolished. At Compline and the Little Hours the hymns are sung with the ordinary Doxology. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Mass there is but a single collect.
Art: Jerome Nadal
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Dominica in Albis - Low Sunday
Dominica in Albis, Low Sunday is a greater-double of the first class. The Sunday is also often referred to as Quasimodo from the first words of its introit. Anciently on this day, or on Saturday, those who had been baptised on Holy Saturday took off their white robes which had been worn since the Oil of Catechumens and Chrism had been lavished upon them on Holy Saturday. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is the account of the LORD appearing in to His disciples behind the shut doors of the room and the doubting of St. Thomas. The Office of the Octave of Pascha ended with the Office of None yesterday.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns return to the Office from this Vespers. The Paschaltide hymn Ad regias Agni dapes was sung. Its Doxology,Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In sempiterna saecula, is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre until the Ascension. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Leo was sung. From this Office the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that marked the Paschal Octave. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.
At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is Rex Sempiterne Caelitum. The psalms of each nocturn are sung under a single antiphon. In the first nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * lapis revolutus est, alleluia: ab ostio monumenti, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * quem quaeris mulier? alleluia, alleluia, viventem cum mortuis, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Octave of Easter. In the third nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * noli flere Maria, alleluia: resurrexit Dominus, alleluia, alleluia and the homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Leo is sung. The Suffrage is omitted.
At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) and the Hours the psalms are again sung under a single antiphon at each Hour, Alleluia, * alleluia, alleluia - which is not doubled of course, even today.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung. The second collect is of St. Leo. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).
At Vespers the Dominical psalms are sung under a single antiphon Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Leo is sung. The Suffrage is omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at Vespers or Lauds. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn of three lessons with the single antiphon Alleluia, lapis revolutus etc. At the Little Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is not sung with the hymns. At Mass there is a change to one word in the introit as 'rationabile' replaced 'rationabiles' in the 1953 edition of the Roman Missal and subsequent editions, there are no commemorations. At Compline the ordinary Doxology and tone are sung with Te lucis.
Image: Jerome Nadal.
Sunday, 4 April 2021
Dominica Resurrectionis - Easter Sunday - Pascha
Hac die quam fecit Dominus, Solemnitas solemnitatum, et Pascha nostrum Resurrectio Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem.
These glorious words are sung, to the tone of the Passion, at Prime today at the reading of the Martyrology before the announcement of the day and moon for tomorrow. Holy Pascha is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the first Order.
At the final stages of the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday yesterday morning an antiphon consisting of a triple Alleluia was sung, doubled, with psalm 116. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Vespere autem sabbati etc. After the Vesperal Liturgy the traditional blessing of houses takes place and, in some countries, the Paschal food. Compline was sung, at the normal time. On Holy Saturday the Office of Compline has some interesting variations. It began with the usual Jube, domne, blessing, short lesson and confession. Converte nos, Deus, salutaris noster and its response were then sung followed by Deus in adjutorium etc with Alleluia for the first time since Septuagesima. The psalms were sung, without an antiphon, to a special form of tone 2. The hymn, chapter and responsory are omitted and Vespere autem sabbati sung as a fragment antiphon to the Nunc dimittis. After the Canticle the antiphon is sung in full. After the usual collect, Visita quaesumus, the antiphon Regina Caeli is sung with its versicle and collect.
Mattins begin with the solemn tone for Deus in adjutorium etc. The invitatory is Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia and psalm 94 is sung to a lovely tone 6 setting. Mattins consists of one nocturn of three psalms. There is no Office Hymn throughout the Octave (c.f. Monastic praxis). The first antiphon is Ego sum qui sum etc and sung with psalm 1. The second antiphon, Postulavi Patrem meum etc, is sung with psalm 2. The third antiphon, Ego dormivi etc, is sung with psalm 3. A versicle and its response are sung follwed by the absolution Exaudi etc. The first lesson has the Gospel fragment Mark 16: 1-7 and is followed by a homily of St. Gregory the Great. The two responsories Angelus Domini descendit and Cum transisset sabbatum are famous and intimately connected with the Quem quaeritis ceremonies. The second lesson, Notandum vero nobis est is sung followed by the second responsory. During the second responsory the cantors and the celebrant don copes the principal one pre-intones the Te Deum. Six pluvialistae assist the Hebdomadarius where possible. The Te Deum is then sung and, where it is the custom the bells ring throughout.
Lauds follow immediately and have a series of beautiful antiphons: Angelus autem Domini, Et ecce terraemotus, Erat autem, Prae timore autem ejus and Respondens autem Angelus all taking up the theme of the Angels, earthquake and empty tomb. Psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148 are sung with these antiphons. The chapter, hymn, versicle and response are replaced by the Haec dies. After Haec dies the antiphon Et valde mane is sung and then the Benedictus sung to a solemn tone 8. During the Benedictus the altar, the choir and people are incensed in the normal manner. The antiphon is repeated and the collect of Easter, Deus, qui hodierna die sung. Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia and its response are followed by the solemn Regina Caeli, its versicle and collect.
The morning Office begins with Prime. There are no hymns at the Hours during the entire Paschal Octave in the Roman rite. At Prime psalms 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 are sung to a special form of Tone 2. Haec Dies is sung after the psalmody and then everything else is omitted up to the collect Domine Deus omnipotens. The Martyrology is then sung, starting with the verse indicated above. Then Sancta Maria etc is sung, the collect Dirigere et sanctificare etc and the short lesson Si consurrexistis. Terce, and the other Little Hours, are even more simple in their structure. At Terce the usual stanzas of Ps. 118 are sung to the special form of Tone 2 followed by Haec dies and the collect of the day.
Mass is sung after Terce. Instead of Asperges me the Paschaltide Vidi aquam is sung today and all other Sundays in Paschaltide. In the great Mass of Easter, Resurrexi, the Gloria is sung, one collect is sung. Haec dies is sung as the Gradual. The sequence Victimae paschali laudes is sung after the Alleluia. The Creed is sung and Ite missa est alleluia, alleluia is sung as the dismissal.
Sext and None have exactly the same structure as Terce. At Vespers the antiphons sung at Lauds, Angelus autem Domini etc, are are sung with the usual Sunday psalms. Haec dies is sung in place of the chapter, hymn and versicle & response. The solemn tone is used for Benedicamus Domino, alleluia, alleluia.
At Compline the usual psalms are sung to Tone 8G without any preceding antiphon, followed by an antiphon consisting of Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. This is followed by the Nunc dimittis sung to the Paschal Tone 2, without antiphons. Haec dies is then sung followed by the collect Visita quaesumus etc and then, as yesterday the antiphon Regina coeli etc.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' yesterday afternoon a novel Vespers, created in 1956, in said, not sung, with unlit candles. It follows the form used on Mandy Thursday and Good Friday but substituting the first antiphon Calicem salutaris with Hodie aflictus. The antiphon on the Magnificat is newly crafted from Mt. 27: 62, 66 Principes sacerdotum (c.f. IX responsory Mattins of Holy Saturday) and the new collect used at Mattins & Lauds and the Hours of Holy Saturday is used again at Vespers. Compline is said by those who do not take part in the nocturnal shenanigans of the Easter Vigil. Compline has the same structure as on Mandy Thursday and Good Friday but the collect Visita, quaesumus replaces Respice. There is no Regina Caeli and the Offices are in the same penitential spirit as those of Mandy Thursday and Good Friday. Those, fortunate enough, not to take part in the Easter Vigil say Mattins & Lauds. For those who do attend it the novel Easter Vigil replaces Compline, Mattins & Lauds so the Queen of Feasts, as Gregory DiPippo has pointed out, becomes the only feast of the Liturgical Year - and the greatest feast of all - not to have first Vespers, Mattins, proper Lauds or the Te Deum. The rest of the day is, thankfully, free from further significant changes.
Friday, 2 April 2021
The Mass of the Pre-Sanctified
'Solemn Mass' celebration of Mass of the Pre-Sanctified, FSSP
'Mass at the Faldstool' celebration, SGG
The faldstool is not in its normal place but on the footpace of the altar. The subdeacon has removed his black folded chasuble and is chanting the lesson. The ministers sit on the altar steps.
'Pontifical Mass at the Throne' form of celebration The celebrant does not use a throne this day but a faldstool on the footpace of the altar. Note the deacon and subdeacon as well as assistant deacons wear black folded chasubles.
Celebration of the Mass of the Pre-Sanctifed in the presence of the Pope (Pius XI), 1936
The Pope did not celebrate on Good Friday but presided wearing a red cope, paeony-coloured stole and cloth of silver mitre. The Cardinal-celebrant (wearing a simple white mitre), Cardinal Pacelli, on the faldstool is the man who would destroy so much of liturgical tradition in the reforms of the 1950s. Note the Cardinal-deacon and Cardinal-Subdeacon in black folded chasubles seated on the altar steps.
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